HELP! confused over £300 headphone for gaming

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by russraff, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. russraff

    russraff New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am getting all confused over what I ought to get and need some help.

    I use my headphones mainly for gaming, though not first person shooters. things like Mass Effect/Alan Wake and others that rely on atmosphere. I do not need a mic as I have a desktop mic for that (as well as a good Titanium HD soundcard and headphone amp) and rarely engage in multiplayer.

    I had some DT880's that I liked but they fell apart a while back. For my sins I got some AKG 550's to replace them and thought that the 550's were too light and the upper range sounded rather odd. The 880's, when UI used them for Hifi were perfect, but for gaming they lack impact. I am also assuming that gaming headsets like Turtle Beach XP Seven are not that good, or is that presumptuous?

    So I am after a good set of 'phones I am willing to pay some for the quality (£250 realty but may be tempted to go to £300 if the 'phones represent something special). If they are wireless then all the best. I have narrowed down some options below, but I can’t access any of them locally for demo. Hence any help would be appreciated.

    Logitech UE9000
    V-Moda 100
    Sound Magic 200

    Thanks for any advice in advance,

    Russell
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Logitech I found the bass very bloated and boomy, and while the bass of the M100 was very strong, it tends to obscure the mids (see the Headfonia review). I had the Soundmagic HP200, which is open back, and I don't think you'll get enough impact from them, based on a gaming requirement and being open.

    This Sennheiser Amperior has the impact, a great overall sound, and high quality build. It's also modular to a large extent.

    Sennheiser Amperior Closed Back Supraaural DJ Monitor Headphones in Silver
     
  3. russraff

    russraff New Member

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    I am not so sure I can wear on supra-aural headphones after I fell out with some Grado 125i's a few years back. I much prefer the over ear design. Would the Momentum be a worthy alternative?

    Thanks,

    Russell
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Yes. The Momentum is better than the Amperior actually, but for some reason I was thinking it was outside of your price range. The fit is superb, sound is great, and when you hold it you'd be impressed with the build quality.
     
  5. john-hifi

    john-hifi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would definitely recommend the SoundMAGIC HP200s. They are open backed so you get great soundstage but the also pack some punch!

    For a closed back option I would also look at the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro. Great for gaming as they have a lot of body to them and you can also adjust the amount of bass you get.
     
  6. russraff

    russraff New Member

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    I thought I'd reply here, as well as a new thread as perhaps the thoughts below are of benefit to others.

    I have listened to the following and have posted thoughts. Any advice to follow would be great, especially on the harder to source brands like Ultrasone, Hifiman etc.

    HD598: I thought that these retailed for £200 and that was the thought in my head when I tried them. The HD598’s are good, better than the DT880’s midrange but the upper mid and treble are weak in the same comparison. The 598’s midrange is smooth and listenable, with a nod towards warmth. The bass is not super extended but remains natural and has more hit than the DT880’s I have. The higher up the range you go the more issues I find. The treble becomes kinda hollow with a false splashy ring to it. This isn’t to say that the treble is poor; rather in comparison I can hear where the compromises have been made to hit a price point. Very comfy and light, the 598’s are a lesson to some others (Grado) on how to make an ergonomically acceptable headphone. Given the choice I would choose the incumbent DT880’s over the 598 but only by a hair.

    Momentum: How can something so small make so much noise? Of all the ‘phones I listened to these have the most full, rounded, well realised bass. The mids are superb with only the high freq having too little detail and too recessed in nature. Easy to drive from my Cute Beyond amp, The momentum’s seem to have nearly everything going for them. Some may find the earcups too small, certainly they are supra-aural on my head, but the materials used and ultra light design mean that I have none of the comfort issues I had with the Grado’s. For such sombre looking ‘phones in austere brown/bronze they are fun to listen to with none of the clinical seriousness of the HD700. Closed back design means that the soundstage is more restricted (compared with an AKG550 for instance) but is still spacious enough to allow classical and full on Rammstein tracks to breathe. Overall a fantastic set and probably better than the DT880’s for everything but fine acoustic work or solo vocal work.

    HD700: Such is the price of the HD700, expectations are high and not met. Maybe its an amp issue, or maybe its the law of diminishing returns, but in almost all cases I prefered the Momentum to the HD700. Only the higher frequencies gave the HD700 the edge alongside a more forward open presentation. Nothing the DT880’s can’t do, never mind the Grado’s. I really can’t see why anyone would want to get the HD700 over the momentum, or even the DT880’s. It’s not that the ‘700’s are bad, just overpriced. Still, they do come in a nice box…

    Yamaha PRO500’s: If you want things to sound like they are coming from an i’ll advised car install where 90% of the money has gone into the subwoofers and the tweeters have all been wired out of phase, then get these. Otherwise, consider them horrific and move on. Compared to the Senn 598 these are a joke.

    Grado 325is: I love the way these sound. I think they are sparkly, detailed, fast, and have rhythm other marques could only dream of. Even the bass response wasn't too bad which I thought was impossible looking at the very open, small design. The highs are extenuated but are almost oily smooth at the same time - very sweet and listenable, almost Cyrus like in nature. Dull the 325is’ are not, though so those who like the Senn house sound may find these too forward.. Ignoring the donut tray packaging and cheap feel as quirks of the brand, one thing I really can’t ignore is the way thee feel. They’re awful. Why a company would deliberately make something feel so cheap and rough on the ear I have no clue. So much so that no matter how good these sound, and they sound great, I couldn’t buy them.

    So that’s it. I still haven’t found my replacement. The DT880s are still a fantastic headphone and it is testament to Robin that he got things right enough to sell me something that worked so well without a demo. Maybe lightning can strike twice with another suggestion, looking at the thoughts above? Currently the nearest are the momentums but a slightly tighter bass and a bit more treble sparkle and I’d have my head phone! I just don't know which that would be...
     
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Grado PS500 sounds much better than the 325 and the earpads are much more comfy if you can believe that. My review of the PS500 (Headfonics/Dale) is still found on the Grado PS500 product page. The only ding on the PS500 is a small hump around 100 hz, easily adjusted I think. The Senn Momentum is similarly good with just the upper treble recess, again easily fixed. Edd of NobleHifi (who does some review postings here) has what I think of as the ultimate reviews on the DT880/990 etc.

    BTW, I found an on-ear headphone I really love - the Beyerdynamic T51p, which is described below and I also reviewed here. I think the highs are right on the line between perfect or slightly recessed, but since people's impressions vary some in that respect, it has to be heard I suppose. But getting that Tesla sound in the small (and comfortable) form with the new-design earpads is a real treat. The former T50p doesn't have the new earpads, which make a huge difference. Same for the DT1350 series - old and new, but I think this T51p is going to be the winner over the new DT1350 - maybe I'll find out some day.

    Beyerdynamic Tesla T51p Premium Portable Closed-Back Headphones
     
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